Sensex, Nifty Turn Flat Amid Choppy Trade As Markets Take A Breather

Both benchmark indices had closed at the highest levels recorded since March 11 on Wednesday.

Sensex, Nifty Turn Flat Amid Choppy Trade As Markets Take A Breather

Gains in pharma stocks were countered by losses in auto and energy shares

Domestic stock markets started Thursday's session on a lacklustre note, following a rally that continued for six days in a row. The S&P BSE Sensex index climbed up as much as 0.59 per cent - or 200.6 points - to touch 34,310.14 in the first few minutes of trade, having started the session down 37.04 points at 34,072.50. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark rose to as high as 10,123.85, after opening nearly unchanged at 10,054.25 compared to its previous close of 10,061.55. 

The markets struggled to defend gains amid choppy trade, as gains in pharmaceutical stocks were countered by losses in automobile and energy shares. At 9:33 am, the Sensex was up 5.48 points at 34,115.02 while the Nifty was up 20.10 points (0.20 per cent) at 10,081.65.

Equities elsewhere in Asia traded on a mixed note, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan last seen trading up 0.16 per cent.

While Japan's Nikkei 225, China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng indices were down 0.18 per cent, 0.21 per cent and 0.17 per cent at the time, South Korea's KOSPI benchmark eked out a gain of 0.18 per cent.

The E-Mini S&P 500 futures were down 0.25 per cent in early Asian trade, indicating a weak start for US markets on Thursday. 

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite barometers rose 1.36 per cent, 2.05 per cent and 0.78 per cent respectively.

On Wednesday, the Sensex had ended 284.01 points - or 0.84 per cent - higher at 34,109.54, and the Nifty settled at 10,061.55, up 82.45 points - or 0.83 per cent - from its previous close - their highest closing levels recorded since March 11.